Published on January 21st, 2015 | by Greg

Don’t Hide From The Thule Covert DSLR Rolltop Backpack

Exploring while carrying your photography gear just got a little bit easier. We’ve tried out dozens- maybe hundreds- of bags over the years, many of which are aimed specifically at protecting some of the most expensive equipment we own- our DSLR cameras from Nikon, Sony, and Canon, along with our array of ‘glass’. Lenses can cost a small fortune, not to mention the priceless memories that an SD card can contain. It all needs padding, a bag must also offer small pockets for extras, and perhaps a place to stash our water bottles, jackets, or even a change of clothing in a pinch. The demands are many.

Thankfully, the Thule Covert DSLR Rolltop Backpack meets and exceeds them. From the double-density padded bottom for puddle and shock protection when you’re setting the bag down to it’s fairly low-key look (hence the name), we found a lot to like. This is a single-body bag, made to hold just about any serious prosumer or pro digital camera, along with up to a  as well as  two additional lenses (up to 70-200mm), a flash, and the necessary accessories like a battery grip or spare pack. Plus- and this surprised us, considering the fairly compact size of the bag- there’s even space for a 15″ laptop (we used a Macbook Air) and a tablet too. The roll-top compartment gives quick and easy access to a decent amount of space for your lunch, or for that light jacket or small change of clothes that we mentioned.

You might know the company best for it’s bike carriers and roof racks, but they make a wide line of luggage and bags as well. At five pounds, the Cover is clearly meant for serious photographers, if the compression straps and the sternum strap didn’t give it away. We found weight to be fairly balanced and the shoulder straps nicely adjustable, with key components kept low and lighter weight on top, as you’d want. A waist strap might have been nice, but there was plenty of back padding and it’s design meant we didn’t get too soaked while lugging around our precious cargo. As with many camera backpacks, you can stick a tripod or monopod onto the side of the bag, though it’ll be a bit awkward in most cases.

Thule offers a 25 year warranty, which is pretty impressive. It’s certainly not as classy as the Tiffen Domke pair we recently checked out, nor as fully-featured (and hefty) as the Inside Line Ultimate Bag for those who want to carry a lot more. The Thule Covert is available only in basic black, and the only real issue that we noticed was that the roll-top meant there was no easy upper grab handle. It held up well to some light rain, and we loved the interior dividers (they claim an origami inspiration, and are bright blue which means you can find that missing lens cap a little easier when searching through your bag). Pick one up now online or in stores for just under $200.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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